In my conversation with the independent British-Nigerian artist, who sings, writes, and produces on the bulk of her eclectic electronic soundscapes, a meditative sense of intention is evident in every aspect of her complex artistic process. In some ways, our dialogue echoes conversations that have opened up online about recognizing the totality of the Black life and experience—it’s really this rich fullness of Black expression that guides our discussion.
From the moment she released her last EP, Restless Minds in 2016, her creative universe ballooned beyond the recording studio. That EP’s slinky, cinematic arrangements, paired with Oyinda’s experimental visual style, was quickly embraced by New York’s music, art, and fashion worlds. Soon she was collaborating with other artists, part-time modeling for predominantly POC-led it-brands, and headlining the New York Fashion Week scene. Her creative fluidity and dimension—not to mention her continued commitment to partnering with groundbreaking POC innovators—made her the perfect match for Balmain and this story in support of the brand’s B-Buzz bag.
Oyinda’s voice is deeply interlaced with the visual arts. And when it came to her bread-and-butter—music—Oyinda found inspiration in the work of a renowned Black contemporary painter. The artist’s large-scale scenes and sculptures, which depict the nuance of Black American life and culture, became the muse for Oyinda’s new music—a mixtape of samples that she says has been in production for years and will be a “shedding of skin” preceding her forthcoming debut album.
“I now have the space I need to make the music I want to make without pressure,” she says. “In the music industry, you are…